Fellow UFC “champ champ” Daniel Cormier believes the proposed rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at lightweight “would be a much better fight today” than the first fight was nearly six years ago. McGregor won the original fight via first-round knockout, but Cormier revealed to Ariel Helwani in the latest episode of ESPN’s “DC & Helwani” that he believes Poirier is a much better fighter right now than he was back then.
“I’d like to watch him fight Conor…,” Cormier said. “I think it’s a much better fight today…partly due to the fact that he’s not depleting himself so much to get to 145.”
Essentially what Cormier said was that the version of Poirier competing at 155 pounds is a much different fighter than the one who fought at 145.
“I just think it’s a different fight today, right? Dustin’s big, he’s strong,” Cormier said. “When you’re cutting that massive amount of weight, sometimes your chin doesn’t hold up and I think that was one of those cases where Conor landed a beautiful shot but Dustin at that point was…wearing his time at 145 out,” Cormier said.
Cormier also pointed out that Poirier moved up to lightweight immediately after the loss to McGregor and that he never returned to the 145-pound division because his body just isn’t cut out for it.
Cormier Wouldn’t Say For Sure Who Wins Rematch
Still, Cormier stopped short of calling for the upset should the two fighters meet again someday soon.
“I’m not saying he beats Conor,” Cormier said. “I don’t know.”
Instead, Cormier listed out some of the reasons the rematch has suddenly become so intriguing.
“I’m telling you that I don’t know how the fight plays out today because I think [Poirier] is more refreshed, right?”
Cormier sees it as an evenly-matched fight.
“I think it’s an interesting fight,” Cormier said. “I think it’s a much better fight today than it was back then….he’s not depleting himself so much to get to 145.”
You can watch Cormier discuss the proposed rematch with Helwani below.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 29, 2020
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Poirier Just Won Fight of the Year Candidate
Poirier’s stunning win over Dan Hooker on Saturday in Las Vegas was immediately tabbed as a Fight of the Year candidate. It also led to McGregor’s name trending on Twitter.
Why? Because after Poirier’s excellent performance against Hooker people started to wonder if maybe “The Diamond” was the perfect opponent for McGregor.
Oh sure, McGregor retired last month in an apparent huff after not getting his way, but nobody who follows the sport closely is taking his retirement all that seriously.
Why should they? McGregor, 31, has retired three times now in the last four years.
More About Potential McGregor vs. Poirier Rematch
The first McGregor vs. Poirier fight happened so long ago that McGregor, the best-selling UFC fighter in history, wasn’t even in the main event that night.
That honor was bestowed upon flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson for his title defense against Chris Cariaso which was the second choice after the proposed rematch between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson had to be shelved due to the challenger suffering an injury.
McGregor went on to win championships at both featherweight and lightweight and has never appeared on an undercard again.
Meanwhile, Poirier captured interim gold at lightweight and has built quite the resume over recent years over a host of notable opponents.
Now the two fighters could be headed toward a massively important rematch.
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